Thursday, January 5, 2012

Halo: Primordium-Greg Bear

Halo: Primordium

Greg Bear

Tor, Jan 3 2012, $25.99

ISBN: 9780765323972

The villagers wonder who is this injured man of armor; he fell from the sky in a jar, but is not a Forerunner. He awakens severely injured and tells Vinnevra tending his wounds that he is Chakas of Erde-Tyrene. The elders think he is worthless as even the ants rejected him and most likely a danger as the flying shadows lost him but will come for him; if they harbor him they will end up in the Palace of Pain.

Vinnevra helps Chakas heal. As he recuperates, Lord of Admirals’ dormant memories surface in his head. His arrival also ignites Vinnevra's dormant geas. The outsider, his human nurse and her grandfather Gamelpar begin a quest to learn the source of Vinnevra's newly awakened power and to explore the planetary ring of this inverted orb, which means willingly entering the Palace of Pain. This is the current home of the Last Precursor who controls this Halo and manipulates the Forerunners (as the Captive), the humans (as the Primordial) and the Master Builder (as manipulator).

Told as an autobiographical account by a dying Forerunner construct with memories of Chakas the human and those of ancient Lord of Admirals, the second Forerunner Saga (see Halo: Cryptum) is a fascinating final testimony. The story line hooks readers with vivid descriptions of a past that may or may not have happened like the galaxy-wide great Flood over ten millennia ago. Although the wanderers’ wandering could have been more concise, Halo fans will enjoy Greg Bear’s extremely dark entry similar in tone to that of Bornstellar in Cryptum with the underlying theme of who lives and who died but lives in a realm where humans are the bottom rung on the food chain.

Harriet Klausner

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